Jonathan Skillings interviewed Ted Smith, executive director of the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition (SVTC). They spoke about chips, chemicals and PC recycling.
Here is what Ted Smith said about the risk of disassembling the computers and monitors.
"The main issues that present the end-of-life problems are the lead that's used in the cathode ray tubes as well as in the lead solder. [...]
"We've estimated that just in the U.S., just from computers and just in the next few years, there'll be over a billion pounds of lead coming from these obsolete computers. The question is, what's going to end up happening to that? We don't have nearly the capacity that we need to be able to address it in an environmentally appropriate way here domestically."
Source: Jonathan Skillings, CNET News.com, Apr. 25, 2002
This column focuses on self-organizing networks, like the ones pioneered by the Bluetooth and the 802.11b "Wi-Fi" approaches, but going a bit further. This kind of networks would allow for instance to connect large numbers of sensors in factories and industrial settings in a first step.
"Self-organizing architectures are also appearing for more complex networks. Engineers at IBMís Almaden Research Center in San Jose, CA, are prototyping a data storage system made up of "collective intelligent bricks": densely packed devices each consisting of a microchip, some memory and several hard-disk drives. Several hundreds of the bricks would be combined to create a single massive storage system. Software allows the bricks to recognize the addition of new bricks and figure out the best way to send data between them for storage. Similarly, if a brick fails, the system finds a way to route around it.
"The goal of the brick system is to make storage servers simpler and cheaper to manage. Moidin Mohiuddin, the labís senior manager of advanced storage systems, estimates that one administrator can currently manage about one terabyte, or one trillion bytes, of data. He hopes a system composed of the bricks could increase that figure a thousandfold."
Source: Erika Jonietz, MIT Technology Review, May 2002
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